Current Executive Committee (2014-2015):
Jonathan Polidano (2nd Year, B.A. Philosophy Hons.) Financial Officer
Lara Zammit (1st Year, B.A. Philosophy and English) Editorial Officer
Kris Abela (3rd Year, B.A. Philosophy Hons.) PRO
David Mizzi (2nd Year, B.A. Philosophy Hons.) Administrative Officer
Francesca BTE (2nd Year, B.A. Philosophy Hons.) Events Coordinator
SPS (Students’ Philosophical Society – for those who don’t know, which is probably all of you) is a budding organization at University. It focuses primarily on all things encapsulating a philosophical stand point. But, then, what is Philosophy? One can say that Philosophy is about questioning – and perhaps not much answering. Ambrose Bierce put it best when he said that Philosophy is a “route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.” It induces questions like ‘What am I doing here?’, ‘What are the ramifications of going out with someone?’; and goes hand in glove with that touch of existentialist angst that comes with the usual pre-exams panic frenzy, making us ask things like; ‘What am I doing with my life?’ and ‘What is life doing with me?’
Turns out this is Philosophy in a nutshell (not really, but roll with it). Philosophy is about exploring these inquiries until you reach the point where you ask yourself, ‘how did I end up here and where is this taking me?’
It gets better: anyone can be a philosopher, if you simply question and not just take everything for granted. Wittgenstein himself became a famous philosopher before even getting a PhD (in fact he acquired his PhD because he became a famous philosopher). Socrates was constantly questioning, although this came with rather fatal consequences; however today people are generally more open to questioning. It is SPS’s aim: to give students the possibility (even those outside the department of philosophy) to join them for their fortnightly meetings and discuss various philosophers, movements, theories, art and literature, and thereafter engage in questioning: that is, emphasizing knowledge for its own sake. They want to hear the student’s voice (whether you consider yourselves philosophers or not!). The point is to share opinions and have discussions while also encapsulating their relevance within a contemporary sphere, and also to grab a couple of beers after the discussion (debating usually becomes much more intense after some alcohol).
Besides weekly meetings, and if you’re a bit more Nietzschean, and feel too ‘unique’ to socialize, they also have an annual magazine, ‘Threads’, which allows students from both Undergraduate and M.A. courses to publish their own arguments and discussions.
And if you’re feeling everydayness clouding Da-sein’s path of authenticity (in other words, if you’re feeling bored), or maybe you want to practice the teachings of Epicurus or Omar Khayyam (no, seriously, google these guys) SPS are planning a multitude of parties in summer and throughout the next scholastic year, so stay tuned (no philosophizing required).
They’re also stressing certain educational issues and would like to make this a big feature in the next term of the Executive. Their belief is that educational implementations must go hand-in-hand with philosophical inquires (and also with a number of other fields as well, such as psychology, sociology etc.). Not only would they like to shed light on certain matters with the general public and at University, but they believe that working with other organizations and institutions will be vital for the improvement of education in Malta.
Exams, assignments and presentations are still going on, but you can always pick up a copy of Threads (2nd Edition recently published, order a copy now – links below) to lighten your mood (or darken it!)
Even if you have nothing to do with Philosophy, they welcome ‘The Other’, and appreciate your feedback; if you can’t find them around University because they might be busy wondering if that really is a tree right there in front of them, feel free to leave them a comment or a like on the Virtual Panopticon: https://www.facebook.com/spsuom or drop them an email on email@example.com